Ambassador Alejandro OrfilaAmbassador Alejandro Orfila

Humanitarian/Businessman/Community Leader

California State University San Marcos

Ambassador Alejandro Orfila is a perfect embodiment of what the California State University honorary degree aims to recognize and celebrate. He is an esteemed member of the international and local community, as well as a humanitarian and educator who has impacted the lives of thousands on a global scale. He is an inspiration, an example of the promise of a California State University education fulfilled.

Ambassador Orfila has worked closely with US Presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George H.W. Bush and served as Argentine ambassador to the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union. One notable contribution to foreign policy and diplomacy came as Secretary General of the Organization of American States, when he negotiated the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977. After retiring to San Diego in the late 1980’s, he founded what has become one of the most influential wineries in the region. As a member of the first President’s University Council he assisted with the creation of California State University San Marcos in 1989. He has provided advice, counsel, and support to every Cal State San Marcos president in the University’s now twenty-five year history. In 2013 he agreed to serve as the Department of History’s first Distinguished History Maker, connecting with students and faculty to support the educational mission of CSUSM and enrich students learning experiences and career aspirations.

Ambassador Orfila’s professional career, his longtime advocacy for peace and his championing of education demonstrate his passion for humanity and for ensuring that opportunities exist for all who seek them. He has given generously of his time, expertise and resources to help solve critical issues, prepare tomorrow’s leaders and build better communities. His tireless efforts to create greater understanding among nations are laudable, and his longstanding service to the Cal State San Marcos community is admirable. It is with great privilege and honor that we celebrate the work of Ambassador Orfila and his place as a pivotal figure in international diplomacy. In recognition of his accomplishments, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University San Marcos are proud to confer upon Ambassador Alejandro Orfila the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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